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Ideas For Portable Dinners?

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Hello! I recently got a part time job at a grocery store and most of my hours have been in the evening during the time that I usually eat dinner. This is only my second week and last week I just took a can of Progresso soup in a thermos and some Glutino table crackers because I had a cold and didn't feel like eating much. Now that my cold is getting better, I'm going to want more of a variety in my dinners on nights that I'm working. I've got a pretty nice thermos thats wide and short so that I can fit food into it and I also just got some tupperware-type containers. I'll have access to a microwave (but it looks pretty gross and old so I'm a little wary of it) but no fridge. I've got an insulated lunch bag and ice packs though. I'm trying to make a list of different things that I can take and be able to keep hot or cold for at least 4 or 5 hours. My only major diet restriction in gluten but I also try to limit the amount of lactose I have since it seems to give me stomach problems if I have too much. Chicken is my favorite meat but I occasionally eat beef too. I don't really eat turkey, pork, or fish. Here's what I have so far:

-Grilled Chicken, roasted peppers, and potatoes kept cold and then microwaved.

-Grilled or Roasted chicken salad. (Lettuce, cheese, chicken, and italian dressing)

-Grilled or Roasted chicken wrap. (Same as above- just in a Rudi's wrap)

-Leftover stews or soups that my stepmom makes throughout winter.

-Spaghetti in the thermos and then a small tossed salad in the tupperware.

That's all so far! Any suggestions are appreciated!! :)


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I love to make Zataran's spanish rice, refried beans and put it and all my "nacho" fixings in a container, after I warm it up I add lettuce and sour cream and have a taco salad, sometimes with chips sometimes without.


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^mmm that sounds delicious! I was thinking about some rice dishes. Maybe I could also do rice with chicken, cheese, and broccoli.

So I take it Zatarain's Spanish rice is safe? Are any of their other rices safe?


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I packed my lunch for ever, some of these ideas may appeal to you for your dinner.

Chopped romaine lettuce with tuna, ham, egg salad.

" " " " chopped hearts of palm, black olives, sunflower seeds & vinagrette.

" " " " sliced cooked potatoes, green beans, hard boiled eggs & vinagrette.

" " " " sliced cooked chicken, mandarin oranges, shaved parmesan cheese and ceaser dressing

" " " ", crumbled goat cheese and sliced pear and walnuts.

(I buy the romaine hearts and wash and spin them dry, then bag in various serving sizes. If I don't feel like spinning the chopped lettuce, I stick it the roughly chopped lettuce in a colander and prop it on a tilt in the sink after giving it a good shake. Every now and then I give the colander a shake and tilt it again.) It works best to separately pack the salad ingredients.

Other things: Skyline Chili (with Cheese), but that takes 7 minutes to cook. Leftover rice and red or white beans. You can pack a piece of parchment paper to place over your food in the scary microwave. And you can use a store flier or a section of newspaper or paper towel to use as a placemat at the lunchroom table.

Wolfgang P has a couple of soups that are gluten-free. I usually stretch them out a bit due to the expense. You can add various left overs, nuke ( or pack in your thermos) and serve over a bed of rice. (Pack a paper plate for that.)

If you cook an extra potato or two, you'll have them to warm up and put crumbled bacon or ham and cheese on.

Or a sweet potato is always good, just on it's own.

Hope that helps.


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Yes Zatarains spanish rice is safe,they have a couple others that are safe too, I believe that the last several times I have picked them up they even have a big "gluten free" dot on on the front of the boxes.

I know you were asking for dinner options, but if you ate a dinner type meal at home before work, you could always pack more like a lunch option for the evening meal at work, Then you could enjoy a nice salad like Marilyn suggested, or a lettuce wrap with ham and sliced tomato. On Sundays I make a small batch of homemade soup mostly with veggies I have in the house and chickpeas and beans too (frozen) and have that a lot for lunch, or an easy dinner when I don't feel like cooking throughout the week.


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